Eric Schwarzenbach

1. How can you efficiently grind surgical saw blades?

Oscillating, sagittal, and reciprocating saw blades often have tooth-set blades with teeth bent right and left for larger clearances and more aggressive cuts. Rollomatic’s GrindSmart 630XW grinder and other machines with 6-axis kinematics can grind various types of saw blades. A fixture holds blades horizontally, allowing automatic loading/unloading. The 6th axis generates different tooth rake angles. A diamond-style tooth pattern also requires a 6th axis inclination.

To speed production, a multi-profile wheel can grind several teeth simultaneously, and a wheel changer can engage multiple wheels to grind channels between teeth.

2. How can software support orthopedic tool grinding?

Rollomatic’s VirtualGrindPro tool design software can make short runs more attractive, inserting lean manufacturing principles into CNC tool grinding. Workflow and workplace organization, process standardization, and waste reduction are now properly addressed in surgical tool manufacturing, standardizing surgical tool production rather than looking at it as an art.

3. What other kinds of grinding are common in medical manufacturing?

Centerless grinding rests the workpiece on a knife-edge support, rotates it through contact with a regulating or feed wheel, and removes material with a grinding wheel. This method grinds long, thin parts without steady rests and lessens taper problems.

Fixation pins, K-wires, trocars, rods, and tubing typically require a Swiss-style lathe and a centerless grinder.

Pinch-and-peel grinding offers the highest concentricity. Rough and finish grinding occur in one pass, eliminating a step to reduce cycle time. Two different grinding wheels run on separate spindles positioned on independently-controlled CNC linear slides.

4. What is a step loader?

The loading side of a magazine feeder is a gravity-fed V-type storage section with a separator at the bottom. Parts are laid horizontally into a tray, and a loader arm transports parts into the machine at a certain height above the V-type storage tray. A step-up system in a diagonal angle transports blanks to that height, carrying them up in steps, one blank per step, depositing the piece to be loaded into a pick-up tray. The storage section keeps remaining blanks in queue until needed. Step width can be adjusted to suit the blank’s diameter.

5. How does a tool grinder handle quick disconnect when grinding cutting geometry?

Quick disconnect features on shank-ends of orthopedic cutting instruments provide a fast, easy connection/disconnection to the motor-driven handpiece. When required to clear a shoulder and grip on a smaller diameter, shank ends are usually larger than the actual tip or cutting edge. Rollomatic offers over-grip clamping systems that can accommodate such parts.

A less common part, an olive wire with a bulge in the part’s center, uses a special collet that allows the automatic loader to insert the bulge into the collet from the side instead of the front. After side-entry, the part is pushed further into the collet and the bulge gets swallowed in the back of the system.

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